The Ignatz Awards for 2023 were handed out over the weekend at the Small Press Expo. As reported elsewhere at The Beat, it was an emotional night, with tearful winners. Robyn Smith, representing Black Josei Press took to the podium to accept two awards, one for Outstanding Story “Ride of Die” in Wash Day Diaries, their much lauded collaboration with Jamilla Rowser, originally published by Black Josei but later picked up and expanded by Chronicle; and for Outstanding Comics, Gordita: Built Like This by Daisy Ruiz. 

Winners were well scattered across all levels of the indie comics scenes; Ducks from D&Q was the inevitable winner in the Outstanding Graphic Novel category, and First Second’s In Limbo by Deb JJ Lee won for Outstanding New Talent. Who Will Make The Pancakes? by Megan Kelso, published bu Fantagraphics, won Outstanding Collection. 

Other winners were self published or put out by micro presses, showing that the quality is running through every level of the small press scene. 

Winners are shown below in bold and red. Nominees were selected by a judging committee:  Ellen Lindner, Juniper KimL. NicholsAlly Shwed, Jason Little, and Kotaline Jones. Winners were selected by online voting. 

As is tradition, winners took home an award in the shape of a brick, celebrating Ignatz the Mouse, the brick throwing love interest/nemesis in the all time great comic strip Krazy Kat. 

Darlin' And Her Other Names — Olivia Stephens


  • Caroline Cash, PeePeePooPoo issue no. 420 (Silver Sprocket)
  • Curt Merlo, That Distant Fire, with J.R. Hughto writing (Black Eye Books)
  • Benjamin Schipper, Joe Death and the Graven (Image, Dark Horse Comics)
  • Olivia Stephens, Darlin’ and Her Other Names (self-published)
  • Noah Van Sciver, Joseph Smith and the Mormons (Abrams Comic Arts)

Shades of Fear | Radiator Comics


  • Cram Comics Issue no. 1, edited by Andrew Alexander (Cram Books)
  • Glaeolia, edited by Emuh Ruh (Glacier Bay Books)
  • Home: a comics anthology on belonging in Ireland today, edited by Katherine Foyle (Dublin Comic Arts Festival)
  • NOW no. 12, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Shades of Fear, edited by Allison O’Toole & Ashanti Fortson (Balustrade Press)

Who Will Make the Pancakes: Five Stories - The Comics Journal


  • Boodle Fight, Ashley Topacio (self-published)
  • Cankor, Matthew Allison (self-published)
  • Griz Grobus and the Tale of Azkon’s Heart, Simon Roy, Jess Pollard & Sergey Nazarov (self-published)
  • Upside Dawn, Jason, (Fantagraphics)
  • Who Will Make the Pancakes?, Megan Kelso (Fantagraphics)

Gordita: Built Like This – Black Josei Press


  • Gordita: Built Like This, Daisy Ruiz (Black Josei Press)
  • Lemon Yellow, Ciari Quilty-Harper (Kus!)
  • Platonic Love, A ee mi (Paradise Systems)
  • Forget Me Not, Gabriel Howell (Secret Acres)
  • Live Rock Part 1: Aquarium Life (Issue #1), Ross Jackson (Secret Room Press)


  • Ducks, Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Mimosa, Archie Bongiovanni (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Last Chance to Find Duke, Shang Zhang (PEOW)
  • Nervosa, Hayley Gold (Street Noise Books)
  • The Man in the McIntosh Suit, Rina Ayuyang (Drawn & Quarterly)


  • Farewell, Joao Fazenda (self-published)
  • Death Bloom, Yasmeen Abedifard (self-published)
  • Sacred Grove, Celine Loup (self-published)
  • Hares on the Mountain, Lee Dean & Salvador Aguilera (self-published)
  • You’re the Center of Attention, Gina Wynbrandt (Kus!)

The God of Arepo by Reimena Yee | Goodreads


Tales Of Old Snake Creek | Radiator Comics


  • Fizzle no. 4, Whit Taylor (Radiator Comics)
  • Maple Terrace no. 1, Noah Van Sciver (Uncivilized Books)
  • Venomyths, Joshua Ray Stephens (self-published)
  • Tales of Old Snake Creek, Drew Lerman (self-published)
  • Viewotron Comics and Stories, Sam Sharpe & Peach S. Goodrich (Radiator Comics)

Wash Day Diaries: Rowser, Jamila, Smith, Robyn: 9781797205458: Books


  • Weeds, Kit Anderson (Parsifal Press)
  • The Impatient Ms. S, Koyubi (self-published)
  • I Owe It to My Parents to NOT Come Out, Richard Mercadi (self-published)
  • Wash Day Diaries (chapter: “Ride or Die“), Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith (Chronicle Books)
  • Inversion, Lily Thu Fierro & Generoso Fierro (self-published) In Limbo: 9781250252654: Lee, Deb JJ: Books


  • Grayson Bear, Pokey (Bred Press)
  • Leo Fox, My Body Unspooling (self-published)
  • Deb J.J. Lee, In Limbo (First Second)
  • Richard Mercado, I Owe It to My Parents to NOT Come Out (self-published)
  • Shanti Rai, Sennen (Avery Hill Publishing)

– Dean Simons and Heidi MacDonald contributed to the reporting on this story